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Rewind 2016: Highlights and heartbreaks


Another year has come and gone, and 2016 is without a doubt a year full of surprises and bizarre incidents!

From the shocking U.S. election results, to the ever-so-random mannequin challenge, the sad deaths of several notable names like David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, the increasing popularity of nonsense tunes like “PPAP” and the revival of “Pokémon” via Pokémon Go – there’s just so much going on within a year!

So, before we wrap up and bid farewell to the wonderful year, let’s take a quick rewind and see all the major highlights and heartbreaks of 2016!


When the Academy Awards AKA Oscars announced its nominees earlier this year in January, people were furious that only white actors and actresses were among the chosen few in the top four categories – and not to mention, for the second consecutive year! The trending hashtag #OscarsSoWhite has surfaced and went viral all over social media, spawning sarcastic memes and jokes along the way. It is also the year where plenty of famous celebrities decided to boycott the prestigious awards ceremony and some of them include Spike Lee, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Dogg, and Michael Moore.

Celebrity deaths 

So many famous icons and known figures have left the world this year, but their honourable contributions will continue to live on in many of our memories in years to come. From chart-topping musicians, to acclaimed actors and sporting heroes, 2016 is truly the year of loss. Some of the names include David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Chyna, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder, Anton Yelchin, Alan Thicke, George Michael, Carrie Fisher and more!

#RunningManChallenge

Not the famous South Korean “Running Man” series, but a street dance move from the late 80s and is known as the new nae nae or harlem shake. The dance move was performed most notably by Janet Jackson in the video of her hit “Rhythm Nation”, but was made famous by several American college basketball players in April. The dance involves a close-armed running man-style usually to the tune of the 1995 song “My Boo” by Ghost Town DJs. The phenomenon had soon spread on social media and was copied by others including celebrities like Chris Brown, Kevin Hart, Tyga, Von Miller and Kyrie Irving.

Killing of Harambe

Harambe was the name of a 17-year-old Western lowland silverback gorilla who was shot to death at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child fell into his enclosure in late May 2016. The incident sparked huge controversy among netizens who blamed the parents for not looking after their child properly, and the zoo’s choice of killing the ape. After the killing, Harambe became the subject of multiple viral memes and one of the popular ones is the meme “Dicks Out for Harambe” which is said to be a sign of respect to the innocent gorilla.


When Pokémon Go was released back in July, it immediately became a global phenomenon, and was one of the most used and profitable mobile apps in 2016, having been downloaded more than 500 million times worldwide. The augmented-reality game received mixed reviews from critics as it promotes physical activity but also exposes users to various dangers. Though the craze has died down a little due to the slow updates, it quickly saw a surge in revenue once again when the first featured event, the Halloween Event was released.


A nonsensical song performed by Pikotaro, a stage persona of the Japanese professional comedian Kosaka Daimaoh, which has gone viral ever since Justin Bieber shared it on his social media platform. Hailed as the new “Gangnam Style” by various media outlets, the official music video of the song has now been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube, spawned multiple hilarious parodies, and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 chart, becoming the shortest single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

Brexit
(Photo source: bbc.com)
Short for “British Exit”, Brexit is simply the withdrawal of United Kingdom from the European Union (EU) following a referendum held on 23 June 2016 in which majority of British citizens voted to exit the EU. The news had triggered various mixed reactions on social media, causing the British pound to fall to its lowest level in decades since 1985. A petition calling for a second referendum attracted more than four million signatures, but was rejected by the government on 9 July 2016.


Another viral phenomenon is where people remain frozen like mannequins while a moving camera films them, usually to the song “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd playing in the background. Started by a bunch of students in early October, the challenge was purely made for fun and has no particular reason or cause behind it. Some of the notable celebrities who participated in the trend include Adele, Taylor Swift, Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton, Dwayne Johnson, Britney Spears and more.

(Photo source: ibtimes.co.uk)
The death of Thailand’s former ruler Bhumibol Adulyadej has left a deep scar on the people of Thailand. The king who was also known as King Bhumibol the Great was the ninth monarch of Thailand, and was the world's longest-serving head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for over 70 years. The government declared a year-long mourning period for Bhumibol where the citizens are asked to refrain from entertainment.

United States Presidential Election
(Photo source: slate.com)
The 2016 presidential election was one of the hottest topics throughout the year, and thanks to it, Donald Trump who wins the election, became this year’s most Googled person/name in the world! Going up against Hilary Clinton, Trump obtained the required majority to become President-elect of the United States, winning 30 states with 306 pledged electors out of 538. His win has sparked mostly negative reactions on social media, and was characterized as an “upset” and as “shocking” by the media. After Trump’s victory, large protests broke out across the United States with signs such as “Not my president” and “We don't accept the president-elect”. The hashtags #Anti-trump and #NotMyPresident have also trended on Twitter. Some of the celebrities who took part in the protests include Lady Gaga, Madonna, Josh Hutcherson, and Katy Perry among others.

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